If you are having a hearing test with a specialist, it may be because you are worried that you may be losing your ability to hear well. As people get older, this is a natural occurrence, though the rate of loss and how significant it becomes is very different from one person to the next. However, before you leave the office of the specialist, you should have as much information as possible about what is happening to you and why. You should also know what you need to do from here.

What You Need to Know

Depending on the output of your hearing test, you may or may not have a device or aid. For those who have problems passing this type of screening, it could indicate a loss of the ability to hear, but this is not a onetime solution. In other words, you need to know what is happening, why it is happening and what's next. For many people, these specialists can provide a great deal of information you need to know what is happening with your ability to hear.

• How bad is your loss? In some situations, you may not need a device or aid but you may have some level of loss. Even if you are not given a device, you need to know if there is any loss present.

• Is it going to get worse? In some situations, it will. You should know what to expect in terms of what will happen over the next few years. Even if you are getting a device, the condition will likely deteriorate further. You should know when you need to come back.

• Why is this happening? For some people, damage to the eardrum due to loud sounds is the main problem. For others, it is happening because of the deterioration of the ear due to old age.

• What can you do to slow the progress, if anything? In some cases, it is important to protect the ears from any further loud sounds to protect your current ability to hear. In other cases, you may need to try to avoid infections that could further damage the structure.

• What should you do if it seems to get worse? In many cases, you will need to come back for further screening and treatment. That's because most loss is gradual and hard to notice.

A hearing test is the first step but it is not the end of your appointment with a specialist. You need to gather as much information as you can so that you feel comfortable without the outcome of this meeting. You need to know what is happening.